Employee Dedication Key to PA Rental Firm’s Success

Fri October 07, 2005 - Northeast Edition

Waking before dawn and going to work is not easy to do, but for almost 30 years, Modern Equipment Sales & Rental Company employees have been doing just that in earnest and with enthusiasm.

It is barely 6 a.m. when Glen Bloomquist, branch manager of Modern’s Wilmington, DE, facility already has handled several customers’ calls, two of which were about relocating rental equipment deliveries, while another was from a customer ordering more equipment for a bridge project.

This is a typical start to Bloomquist’s day at Modern. And he doesn’t expect the frenetic mornings to slow any time soon.

Throughout Modern’s 11 branches this scene is repeated as Bloomquist’s counterparts field a slew of similar early morning calls that, each day, will total more than 1,000 calls.

By 9 a.m., sales representatives, who have already been making myriad calls since 7 a.m., now turn their attention to a training session for Target saws, a manufacturer of concrete-cutting equipment. Here, a slab of concrete has been poured ahead of time so that the sales representatives can learn during this session how to use Target’s various saw models.

Vice President of Sales Steve Brown’s goal is to have his sales force as prepared as possible, so he regularly conducts these training meetings on all products. “Contractors expect their sales representatives to know what the equipment can do, and which equipment will get the job done the fastest without compromising safety,” he said.

Modern’s service technicians also are a vital part of the rental team. Each day, they work to ensure that all returned equipment is ready to rent for the next customer.

“No equipment gets turned around on a rental without a thorough review,” said Chris Pera, Modern Equipment’s president. “This is a demanding business because our customers have their crews on job sites and expect our rental equipment to perform properly.”

As morning turns into afternoon, customers begin returning items that were out on lease. The shop’s busy pace continues as the company’s rental coordinators take calls for the next day’s deliveries, too. To deliver all this equipment to customers, such as Gradall rough-terrain forklifts, backhoes and large boom aerial work platforms, Modern uses more than 30 delivery trucks, with most of them being large trailers. These have been out on the road since 5 a.m.

As closing time approaches (5 p.m.), most delivery trucks begin returning to the various facilities, though some are still making deliveries for early morning jobsite startups.

Days like this have been commonplace at Modern Equipment since 1976 when it bought its first rental yard. Hard work and loyalty to the company is pervasive because each employee can have a stake in its outcome through Modern’s Employee Stock Ownership Program. The numbers bear this out: approximately 20 percent of Modern’s employees have been with the company and waking up before dawn for more than 20 years.